Thursday, 23 December 2010

What now for Arsenal's ownership as Danny Fiszman moves his shares?

Arsenal director and major shareholder Danny Fiszman has transfered his 16.1 per cent stake in the club to a new company.

The announcement that Mr Fiszman had moved his shares in the Gunners to DF Nominees Limited was made by the PLUS market this lunchtime.

The directors of the new company are Mr Fiszman and his solicitor Russel Shear, a partner of London law firm Edwin Coe LLP, according to documents lodged with Companies House.

The new company was only formed on December 15.

It is widely speculated that Mr Fiszman is suffering from ill health. He attended the AGM of Arsenal Holdings plc, the company which operates the club, on October 21.

How this implicates in the running of the club is as yet unclear, however in the short term nothing it appears will change.

A statement, issued as required by PLUS market rules, said:
Arsenal Holdings plc (the "Company")  announces that it was notified on 22 December 2010 that on that date Daniel Fiszman, a Director of the Company, effected the transfer of 10,025 ordinary shares of GBP1 each in the Company (the "Shares") (representing 16.1 per cent of the total issued share capital of the Company) from the existing nominee holders to a new nominee, DF Nominees Limited.

The Shares were transferred to the nominee company at no cost. The transfer does not affect the beneficial ownership of the Shares.  Accordingly, Mr Fiszman continues to have a beneficial interest in 9,985 Shares (representing 16.04 per cent of the total issued share capital of the Company) and The Star Charitable Trust (of which Mr Fiszman is a trustee) continues to have a beneficial interest in the remaining 40 shares (representing 0.06 per cent of the total issued share capital of the Company).
The news comes just a day after fellow shareholder Alisher Usmanov said he wanted to up his stake in the club.

Speaking to Russian State TV, Usmanov said:
"Today, we have 27%; our objective is to bring that up to a blocking stake of 29.9%.
"And from there, we will just keep looking. You can never tell what happens in life."
There has been no indication that Mr Fiszman is inclined to do business with Usmanov. In fact Fiszman has done business with Arsenal's largest shareholder Stan Kroenke and has not entertained the advances of the Uzbek.

At present the major shareholders in the club are: Kroenke (29.9%); Usmanov (26.9%), Fiszman (16.1%) and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith (15.9%).

Mr Fiszman has been keen to keep the status quo since the ousting of Bracewell-Smith from the board and the movement in his shares should not be seen as being significant as it changes virtually nothing.

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